A Nonrestrictive Semiotics of the Immune System
I would like to start with a personal remark. When the opportunity comes to discuss serniotics with peopie from a different disciplinary area, I feel both hope arid fear. I wonder, then, whether we semioticians are finally getting into the market, close to selling our theories and to showing that they are really productive; or whether too much work will be required out of us to make them really a little productive for others to use. At Il Ciocco, I tried to be neither too hopeful nor too fearful. Vet now, in putting down my ideas I see I can only sail between those two feelings. Is Semiotics relevant to Immunology? I could be very strict, very defensive in a way, and give an elucidation of Semiotics such that the answer would be a clear—cut no. Extant theories of Semiotics would be very helpful at that, because they are meant to give a paradigrnatic definition of what Semiotics is. But I will rather be tentative arid try to explore a nonparadigmatic case, which is interesting in itself for a semiotician, and which could fit the case. The case is indeed not clear cut, not paradigrnatic. In order to frame it, I had to reconsider the most basic methodological tenets of my discipline. What follows is a description of the problems I met, together with an attempt to explore an alternative idea from which, for the moment, more than definite answers, new questions arise. Within a semiotic-1inguistic tradition, one learns first of all the distinction between natural and non-natural meanings or signs. Such a distinction is based on a rather intuitive difference between cases such as ’smoke means fire’, and cases such as ’with his words he meant such arid such’.
KeywordsLime Smoke Stimul Univer
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